Quick Links & Contacts

ACS

Office of Advocacy
212-676-9421

PYA Goals

EDUCATION

Alternative Schools
GED Programs
Scholarships & ETVs

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

HOUSING

Finding an Apartment
Emergency Services

JOBS

Summer Jobs

SEXUALITY

Morning After Pill info
1-888-NOT-2-LATE

HEALTH

Citywide Clinic List

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide Hotline
212-673-3000

LifeNet Referrals
(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
1-877-990-8585 (Mandarin/Cantonese)

Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

SPECIAL RESOURCES
Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)

ADVOCACY

Legal
Lawyers for Children
1-800-244-2540

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
Advocates for Children
212-947-9779

Legal Aid Society’s Education Advocacy Project
212-577-3342

ETVs (Educational and Training Vouchers)

Featured Story

College Struggles: You're on your own, kid.
image by Percy Tejada

College Struggles
You're on your own, kid.



In high school, I just did what I had to do to get B’s and C’s. I could do that without doing my homework, so I didn’t do homework. I didn’t push myself to be an A student because as long as I passed and graduated, being the top student didn’t matter.

I did want to go to college, though, because when I was 6, I promised my dad that I would. He died soon after that, but I wanted to keep my promise. Having an education meant the same thing to both of us: that I could use my knowledge to achieve my goals in life. One of my goals, partly because my dad taught me to write, is becoming a professional writer.

I was accepted into all six colleges that I applied to in New York City. I wanted to go to Brooklyn College to study journalism, but my mom wanted me to go to Medgar Evers College because it was closer to home. I got some federal financial aid money through both a Pell grant and a TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) award for books, transportation, and other expenses. But my mom was paying the rest, so I had to go where she said.

I took a multiple-choice placement test to determine what freshman classes I would take, and I aced it. In high school, I’d only gotten A’s on tests where all the questions were multiple choice. Seeing the options on multiple-choice tests helps me remember what I read or what the teacher said in class. I’ve always had trouble remembering what I’ve read.

I signed up for math, English, history, and freshman seminar, an introduction to college life. But almost immediately, I ran into problems.

One big problem was that I didn’t get my books until mid-October. The portion of my Pell grant that covered books didn’t come through until then. I tried to keep up by reading what I could at the library, but without being able to take the textbooks home with me to study, I fell behind in my classes.

My advice is to stay on top of your financial aid. Keep reminding the financial aid office that you need your money for books, transportation, and other expenses—not just tuition. Also, ask other students to fill you in if you miss class.

Overwhelmed

Another big problem was that I wasn’t used to studying. In high school, the only thing I studied was math because we got work packets to take home instead of a heavy textbook. But college math—algebra plus trigonometry—was so much more difficult than high school math. The only time I understood the work was when we did problems from the book and on the board.

I realized I needed help when I failed my very first quiz in math class. I was too embarrassed to ask the teacher for help. I wanted him to think that I really belonged in college. . .

[read more]